This case challenges future sport managers to consider the importance of organizational structure and the impact structure has on job performance and motivation. In the case, students are presented with a university ticket sales department with a traditionally tall bureaucratic organizational structure. In 2014, the department struggled with poor performance, high turnover, and low levels of employee morale. However, the department took drastic steps and adopted an organizational structure that is based on the idea of self-managed teams. Now in 2016 the department is undergoing a thorough evaluation to see whether the organizational change made two years ago has had a positive impact. Even though the case uses a fictional university (i.e., Western Field University), the issues and challenges involved in changing an organizational structure, motivating employees, and leading change stem from real-world situations. The case contains ticket sales data, employee turnover information, and sample quotes from employees that aid in the analysis. This case is intended for use in human resource management classes, but it also has implications for organizational behavior or leadership courses.
Jeffrey Graham and Sylvia Trendafilova are with the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.